Alan Watts Quotes & Wallpapers

Alan Watts
Total Quotes: 533


The point is seeing that THIS - the immediate, everyday and present experience - is IT, the entire and ultimate point for the existence of a universe. I believe that if this state of consciousness could become more universal, the pretentious nonsense which passes for the serious business of the world would dissolve in laughter... Alan Watts

Just as the highest and the lowest notes are equally inaudible, so perhaps, is the greatest sense and the greatest nonsense equally unintelligible. Alan Watts

But when no risk is taken there is no freedom. It is thus that, in an industrial society, the plethora of laws made for our personal safety convert the land into a nursery, and policemen hired to protect us become selfserving busybodies. Alan Watts

Anxiety is the fear that one of a pair of opposites might cancel the other. Forever. Alan Watts

What I am really saying is that you don't need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all. Alan Watts

Time is a social institution and not a physical reality. There is no such thing as time in the natural world - the world of stars and waters, clouds, mountains and living organisms. There is such a thing as rhythm - rhythm of tides, rhythm of biological processes... There is rhythm and there is motion. Time is a way of measuring motion. Alan Watts

Here is the vicious circle: if you feel separate from your organic life, you feel driven to survive; survival -going on living- thus becomes a duty and also a drag because you are not fully with it; because it does not quite come up to expectations, you continue to hope that it will, to crave for more time, to feel driven all the more to go on. Alan Watts

The past and the future are abstractions without any concrete reality. Alan Watts

We tend to regard ourselves as puppets of the Past, driven along by something that is always behind us. Alan Watts

The best way to convince someone is by making him realize that what you speak came from his own mind. Alan Watts

Enjoyment is an art and a skill for which we have little talent or energy... your entire education has has deprived you of this capacity because it was preparing you for the future, instead of showing you how to be alive now. Alan Watts

A living body is not a fixed thing but a flowing event, like a flame or a whirlpool: the shape alone is stable, for the substance is a stream of energy going in at one end and out at the other. We are particularly and temporarily identifiable wiggles in a stream that enters us in the form of light, heat, air, water, milk, bread, fruit, beer, beef Stroganoff, caviar, and pate de foie gras. It goes out as gas and excrement - and also as semen, babies, talk, politics, commerce, war, poetry, and music. And philosophy. Alan Watts

We are seeing, then, that our experience is altogether momentary. From one point of view, each moment is so elusive and so brief that we cannot even think about it before it has gone. From another point of view, this moment is always here, since we know no other moment than the present moment. It is always dying, always becoming past more rapidly than imagination can conceive. Yet at the same time it is always being born, always new, emerging just as rapidly from that complete unknown we call the future. Thinking about it almost makes you breathless. Alan Watts

You are the universe experiencing itself. Alan Watts

We get such a kick out of looking forward to pleasures and rushing ahead to meet them that we ca' slow down enough to enjoy them when they come. Alan Watts

The Tao belongs neither to knowing nor not knowing. Knowing is false understanding; not knowing is blind ignorance. If you really understand the Tao beyond doubt, it's like the empty sky. Why drag in right and wrong? Alan Watts

The agnostic, the skeptic, is neurotic, but this does not imply a false philosophy; it implies the discovery of facts to which he does not know how to adapt himself. The intellectual who tries to escape from neurosis by escaping from the facts is merely acting on the principle that "where ignorance is bliss, "tis folly to be wise. Alan Watts

I was talking to a Zen master the other day and he said, "You shall be my disciple."I looked at him and said, "Who was Buddha's teacher?" He looked at me in a very odd way for a moment and then he burst into laughter and handed me a piece of clover. Alan Watts

It is obvious that the only interesting people are interested people, and to be completely interested is to have forgotten about "I". Alan Watts

Everyone is the fabric and structure of existence. Alan Watts

If happiness always depends on something expected in the future, we are chasing a will-o'-the-wisp that ever eludes our grasp, until the future, and ourselves, vanish into the abyss of death. Alan Watts

The animal tends to eat with his stomach, and the man with his brain. When the animal's stomach is full, he stops eating, but the man is never sure when to stop. When he has eaten as much as his belly can take, he still feels empty, he still feels an urge for further gratification. Alan Watts

When you get free from certain fixed concepts of the way the world is, you find it is far more subtle, and far more miraculous, than you thought it was. Alan Watts

The sense of wrong is simply failure to see where something fits into a pattern, to be confused as to the hierarchical level upon which an event belongs. Alan Watts

Total situations are, therefore, patterns in time as much as patterns in space. Alan Watts

There is only this now. It does not come from anywhere; it is not going anywhere. It is not permanent, but it is not impermanent. Though moving, it is always still. When we try to catch it, it seems to run away, and yet it is always here and there is no escape from it. And when we turn around to find the self which knows this moment, we find that it has vanished like the past. Alan Watts

How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such a fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself as anything less than a god? And, when you consider that this incalculably subtle organism is inseparable from the still more marvelous patterns of its environment - from the minutest electrical designs to the whole company of the galaxies - how is it conceivable that this incarnation of all eternity can be bored with being? Alan Watts

The Greek word for sinning means to 'miss the point;' The point is eternal life which is here and now. Alan Watts

We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain. Alan Watts

You don't look out there for God, something in the sky, you look in you. Alan Watts

Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes. Alan Watts

The moralist is the person who tells people that they ought to be unselfish, when they still feel like egos, and his efforts are always and invariably futile. Alan Watts

You can't figure out the Universe, especially if you're using figures to figure it. Alan Watts

Altough we all realize that monotony is boring, almost every form of industrial work- banking, accounting, mass-producing, service- is monotonous, and most people are paid for simply putting up with monotony Alan Watts

The real Zen of the old Chinese masters was wu-shih, or "no fuss." Alan Watts

We are sick with fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas. Meditation is therefore the art of suspending verbal and symbolic thinking for a time, somewhat as a courteous audience will stop talking when a concert is about to begin. Alan Watts

Meditation is the way in which we come to feel our basic inseparability from the whole universe, and what that requires is that we shut up. Alan Watts

Enlightenment or awakening is not the creation of a new state of affairs but the recognition of what already is. Alan Watts

What we see as death, empty space, or nothingness is only the trough between the crests of this endlessly waving ocean. It is all part of the illusion that there should seem to be something to be gained in the future, and that there is an urgent necessity to go on and on until we get it. Yet just as there is no time but the present, and no one except the all-and-everything, there is never anything to be gained-though the zest of the game is to pretend that there is. Alan Watts

A chest of gold coins or a fat wallet of bills is of no use whatsoever to a wrecked sailor alone on a raft. Alan Watts

The problem is to overcome the ingrained disbelief in the power of winning nature by love, in the gentle (ju) way (do) of turning with the skid, of controlling ourselves by cooperating with ourselves. Alan Watts

To be silent is not to lose your tongue. On the contrary, it is only through silence that one can discover something new to talk about. One who talked incessantly, without stopping to look and listen, would repeat himself ad nauseam. Alan Watts

The idea of the Universe being ruled by that marvelous old gentleman, is no longer plausible. It isn't that anybody has disproved it, but it just somehow doesn't go with the vast infinitude of the Universe. Alan Watts

People sometimes fail to live because they are always preparing to live. Alan Watts

It is also in despair of being able to understand or make any productive contribution to the highly organised chaos of our politico-economic system that large numbers of people simply abandon political and social committments. They just let society be taken over by a pattern of organisation which is as self-proliferative as a weed, and whose ends and values are neither human nor instinctive but mechanical. Alan Watts

The question is not what I should do in the future to get it, but rather, what am I presently doing that prevents me from realizing it right now? Alan Watts

We suffer from a hallucination, from a false and distorted sensation of our own existence as living organisms. Most of us have the sensation that "I myself" is a seperate center of feeling and action, living inside and bounded by the physical body-a center which "confronts" an "external" world of people and things, making contact through the senses with a universe both alien and strange. Alan Watts

If the human race develops an electronic nervous system, outside the bodies of individual people, thus giving us all one mind and one global body, this is almost precisely what has happened in the organization of cells which compose our own bodies. We have already done it. [...] If all this ends with the human race leaving no more trace of itself in the universe than a system of electronic patterns, why should that trouble us? For that is exactly what we are now! Alan Watts

What we need to realize is that there can be, shall we say, a movement, a stirring among people, which can be organically designed instead of politically designed. Alan Watts

Philosophy is man's expression of curiosity about everything and his attempt to make sense of the world primarily through his intellect. Alan Watts

When we attempt to exercise power or control over someone else, we cannot avoid giving that person the very same power or control over us. Alan Watts

In a certain sense, Zen is feeling life instead of feeling something about life. Alan Watts

In reality there are no separate events. Life moves along like water, it's all connected to the source of the river is connected to the mouth and the ocean. Alan Watts

Hospitals should be arranged in such a way as to make being sick an interesting experience. One learns a great deal sometimes from being sick. Alan Watts

What are plants doing? What are plants all about? They serve human beings by being decorative, but what is it from its own point of view? It's using up air; it's using up energy. It's really not doing anything except being ornamental. And yet here's this whole vegetable world, cactus plants, trees, roses, tulips, and edible vegetables, like cabbages, celery, lettuce - they're all doing this dance. Alan Watts

To go out of your mind at least once a day is tremendously important. By going out of your mind, you come to your senses. Alan Watts

You, yourself, are the eternal energy which appears as this Universe. You didn't come into this world; you came out of it. Like a wave from the ocean. Alan Watts

We all need to go out of our minds at least once a day. When we go out of our minds we quickly come to our senses. Alan Watts

Don't hurry anything. Don't worry about the future. Don't worry about what progress you're making. Just be entirely content to be aware of what is. Alan Watts

As the fish doesn't know water, people are ignorant of space. Consciousness is concerned only with changing and varying details; it ignores constants-especially constant backgrounds. Thus only very exceptional people are aware of what is basic to everything. Alan Watts

Only words and conventions can isolate us from the entirely undefinable something which is everything. Alan Watts

One's life is an act with no actor, and thus it has always been recognized that the insane man that has lost his mind is a parody of the sage who has transcended his ego. If one is paranoid, the other is metanoid. Alan Watts

The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego. Alan Watts

What you do is what the whole universe is doing at the place you call the here and now. You are something the whole universe is doing in the same way that the wave is something that the whole ocean is doing. The real you is not a puppet which life pushes around. The real deep-down you is the whole universe. Alan Watts

You can't live at all unless you can live fully now. Alan Watts

Paradoxical as it may seem, the purposeful life has no content, no point. It hurries on and on, and misses everything. Not hurrying, the purposeless life misses nothing, for it is only when there is no goal and no rush that the human senses are fully open to receive the world. Alan Watts

Irrevocable commitment to any religion is not only intellectual suicide; it is positive unfaith because it closes the mind to any new vision of the world. Faith is, above all, openness - an act of trust in the unknown. Alan Watts

Our view of reality is like a chart of the sea - the truer it is, the less likely we will become lost. Alan Watts

Buddhism has in it no idea of there being a moral law laid down by some kind of cosmic lawgiver. Alan Watts

We have a strange anxiety in us; that if we don't interfere then it won't happen. Now that's the root of an enormous amount of trouble. Alan Watts



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